Remember overdrafting while you waited for your next paycheck to come — that was the worst, am I right? You’d be short on cash and your bank would get its revenge by helping itself to $35 of all that money you didn’t have.
But you’re making $70,000 a year now, and those days are behind you.
It’s time to think about what you want to achieve next with your money. Do you want to invest? Plan for the future? Pay off debt? We’ve got some ideas for you:
1. Invest in Real Estate (Even If You’re Not A Millionaire)
Now that you’re earning a higher salary, you might have some extra room in your budget. Maybe you’ve thought about investing some of that cash, but you’re not sure where to start.
We found a company that helps you become a real estate investor — and you don’t have to be a millionaire.
You can get started with a minimum investment of just $500. Through the Fundrise Starter Portfolio, your money will be invested in portfolios of real estate around the United States.
You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolios — like a set of townhomes in Snoqualmie, Washington, or an apartment building in Charlotte, North Carolina.
And you don’t have to be the landlord — Fundrise does all the heavy lifting.
As tenants pay their rent, you can earn money through quarterly dividend payments and potential appreciation of the property.
It’s a great way to get started in the world of investing now that you’ve got some additional income.
2. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month
You’re making good money now, but that doesn’t mean your debt magically disappears. If you need some help, we found a company that will pay your credit card bill this month. No, like… the whole bill.
Your credit card is getting rich by ripping you off with insane rates, but a company called Fiona could help you pay them off tomorrow.
Here’s how it works: Fiona will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every credit card balance you have. The benefit? You’re left with just one bill to pay every month, and because the interest rate is so much lower, you can get out of debt so much faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.
Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.
You’re making great progress in your career. Don’t let your credit card company hold you back.
3. Spend 5 Minutes (and $25/Month) to Make Sure Your Family’s Mortgage is Paid When You Die
Johnny Greig/Getty Images
Have you ever thought about what would happen to your mortgage when you die? Could your spouse comfortably afford it on one income? And what about your funeral expenses, the kids’ education, lingering credit card balances and even weekly groceries?
Before we get sucked into a spiral of sadness and panic, there’s an easy way to prevent this from even becoming an issue: It’s called life insurance. And, no, you don’t have to have millions of dollars to need — or benefit from — life insurance.
The first step is to shop policies. With a company called Policygenius, you can do this for free in about two minutes. Plus, it offers affordable options — you could get a $1 million policy for as little as $25 a month. (Ahem, that means you’ll be able to leave your family with $1 million.)
But not everyone will need $1 million in coverage. If you’re not sure how much you need, many experts suggest taking out a policy that’s about 10 times your annual income.
Once you find a policy that fits your needs, you’ll apply online and finish up the process with a quick phone call from a representative who’ll be able to answer questions you have.
Now you’ll know, if something happens to you, your spouse will be able to comfortably make the monthly mortgage payments.
4. Embrace Autopay to Save on Your Bills
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder
Because the fear of overdrafting isn’t hanging over your head anymore, you have no reason to fear autopay now. Another accomplishment!
Cell service providers, utilities and student loan companies all love it when you opt into a monthly autopay plan. That way, they can count on your payment rolling in like clockwork.
They love it so much, they might even give you a discount. For example, many student loan providers will give you a quarter-percent discount on your interest rate for using an autopay function, and that savings will really add up over time.
Lots of cell phone companies will kick in a monthly discount of around $5 if you use autopay.
This also helps with credit cards. If you make your payments automatically, they’re never late — so your credit cards won’t jack up your interest rates.
5. Reduce Your Homeowner’s or Renters Insurance to as Little as $25/Month
No seriously. This could be as easy as ordering pizza.
We get it. Buying insurance was enough of a hassle the first time around. You’re not exactly champing at the bit to do all that again. But this company could have you switched faster than you can say “hold the olives” — and it could save you a bunch of money.
The average person in the U.S. is paying $187 per year, but with Lemonade, you could get renters insurance for as little as $5 a month, less than half the average rate.
Oh, and if you own a home? You can get homeowners insurance for as little as $25 a month with Lemonade.
Even better? No phone calls. No lengthy sign-up process. Nothing. The whole process takes just 10 minutes.
Just because you’re only paying $5 doesn’t mean you’re skimping on coverage. In fact, Lemonade pays out 30% of its claims instantly. It even holds the world record for paying a claim in only three seconds!
Lemonade is available in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusettes, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Wisconsin.
6. Save up to $670 a Year on Car Insurance — for the Same Coverage
No matter how much you’re making, you can never get too good of a deal. It’s always worth checking. If you’re not shopping for car insurance twice a year, you could be leaving $670 a year on the table.
Insurance companies take a lot of factors into consideration, and they change their rates all the time. But who wants to call their insurance provider twice a year?
Thankfully, a free website called The Zebra will do all the comparing for you — in just two minutes.
Just enter basic information about your car and driving history, then The Zebra shops policies from more than 100 companies to find you the best price.
The Zebra says it saves its users up to $670 a year.
If you find a policy you like, you can sign up online instantly.
By: Mike Brassfield
This article originally appeared on thepennyhoarder.com